Man guilty of harassing his local publican

 

A 61-year-old man who put up posters in his locality naming a publican as an alleged paedophile has been convicted of harassment by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury.

Bernard Clyne, Brighton Cottage, Foxrock, had denied harassing the victim between April 2nd and April 21st, 2003, by putting up the posters.

Judge Katherine Delahunt thanked the jury for its careful deliberations before excusing its members from further jury duty for the next five years.

The jury of five men and seven women found him guilty of harassment after a three-day trial in which it heard the defendant say that the English television series, The Bill, had given him the idea to run what he agreed was "a concerted campaign" against the publican.

Judge Delahunt remanded Clyne on bail for sentence on July 5th and ordered that he does not try to communicate with the 61-year-old publican or any member of his family. She also ordered Clyne not to approach any members of staff at his victim's pub, nor attend the pub at any time.

"You will remain outside," Judge Delahunt told Clyne who used to be a regular customer at the pub until around Christmas 2002. "You will be committing a criminal offence if you breach this order," she warned him before granting him bail.

Judge Delahunt said she had taken into account Clyne's two previous convictions, one of which was under Section 13 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 and the other for indecent assault on a woman in 1966.

She said the antiquity of the latter offence and the minimal nature of the other allowed her to be favourable in consenting to remand him on bail under the conditions she had imposed. She also ordered that he sign on at Cabinteely Garda Station weekly.

Clyne had told the jury he ran the campaign as a favour to a lifelong friend who asked him to get justice for his son who had allegedly been sexually abused by the publican when he was about eight- or nine-years-old.

"I believed every word in the posters," he told his counsel, Mr Michael Cush SC (with Mr Michael O'Higgins BL). He also explained that he had opted to put up the posters rather than report the matter to gardaí for several reasons.

He said he was "not a learned man" and did not know the proper procedures at the time.